National Infertility Awareness Week: A Few Reflections
April 24, 2018
This past Sunday marked the start of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), and it's on my heart to share a few reflections as it relates to our own journey through infertility.
First, I want to pause and reflect on where secondary-infertility has brought us today. There’s no denying that our unfulfilled desire to carry another child has brought us to hearts pregnant with the hope of another child who will not share our DNA; yet, was always meant for us and us for him/her, from the beginning of time. It takes my breath away to even type those words. A son/daughter born to another woman will soon call me “Mama”. The immensity of this heartbreak, yet tremendous privilege baffles me and humbles me to the core.
Unexplained infertility would have never been our plan to bring us to our littlest bear, but here we are, and I find myself unable to thank God enough for His infinite wisdom and for allowing us this front-row seat to watch Him work in details big and small. He is indeed worthy of all our trust and praise.
Now, for those still in the wait, still longing with the worst anticipation to see their wombs and arms filled with life, let me just say this: it’s okay to grieve and continue hoping in the process; yet, never forget that “infertile” is not who you are, and motherhood is not the end-all-be-all. I realize that it appears easy for me to say all of this when I already have a child, but please hear my heart when I say I, too wrestled hard with God – pleading for him to change our situation. Certain that another biological child, a sibling for JG would surely remedy the lies I bought into. The lie that I was less of a mom because I had just one child. The lie that God wasn’t giving us the desires of our heart because of my own sin and failures as a wife/mom. I daydreamed about what life would be like if we could just grow our family the “normal” way (as if I had any control over this myself!). But God (remember my two favorite words!), crushed those lies with the truth of His word and has even used this providential circumstance to reveal to us that having biological children really wasn't of first importance when looking to grow our family. That in His perfect plan, He wanted us to step out in faith and obedience to care for the fatherless. It isn't easy or comfortable, but He has made it undeniably clear that He is guiding our every step along the way.
I think if we are all honest, when we step back to consider the whole of our lives, we’ll see there is always something we’re looking for to satisfy us. Then once we have it, it's just not enough, we're itching again for just a little more. If we were just married….if we had children…if we had a bigger yard…if we had a better job…more money…etc., the list goes on and on. There is a God-shaped hole in all of us that can never be filled with the attainment of earthly titles or things.
So go ahead mourn what is or isn’t, take it to God, He can handle your questions and hurt, but then ask for His help to turn your eyes outward and upward. There’s no wonder in navel-gazing, but oh so much wonder to be found gazing at the One who loved us enough to die for us.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
1 Corinthians 13:12
My sincere prayer for anyone in a season of waiting or trial is found in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Because this truth right here is exactly why it’s worth it to endure to the end, every painful trial we walk through is preparing us for something far better than we can ever dream. Dear ones, keep pressing on and looking to Christ.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”